2024

‘No Dice’ For No Labels Party

‘Fusion’ ticket not happening …

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The announcement was simple and straight to the point: “Today, No Labels is ending our effort to put forth a unity ticket in the 2024 presidential election.”

With that word Thursday from No Labels founder and CEO Nancy Johnson, the most idealistic — and some argued unrealistic — aspiration for the 2024 election cycle came to a quiet close. 

No Labels first made national news last July when an eclectic mashup of disgruntled Democrats, Republicans, and independents held what it called a “Common Sense Town Hall” in Manchester, New Hampshire (which, not so coincidentally, is home to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary election). Headlining that gathering was West Virginia Democratic senator Joe Manchin and former Utah Republican governor Jon Huntsman. Manchin, in particular, seemed to be actively flirting with the new group – and his interest drew national attention to it.

No Labels went on to announce last fall that come April 2024, should it appear Joe Biden and Donald Trump had emerged as the Democratic and Republican standard-bearers, it would run a Democratic-Republican fusion ticket of its own. As recently as a few days ago, prominent national news outlets were avidly reporting how No Labels was going about selecting its two-person ‘Dream Team.’

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Then 2024 arrived, and everything changed. Primary voters in both parties made it abundantly clear that whatever the rest of the nation might say it wants, they wanted a rematch of the 2020 election. 

“It’s very difficult in the best of circumstances to get a third-party candidacy off the ground and running,” a Washington, D.C.-based political strategist told us. “And the circumstances confronting No Labels were far from best-case scenario.”

For starters, an unorthodox campaign needs a high-profile candidate to succeed. No Labels’ hopes were seriously dashed two months ago when Manchin announced he would not seek the presidency this year.

From then on, a steady stream of would-be presidents all said, “thanks, but no thanks” to the group’s discreet overtures. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie passed after ending his GOP campaign. And South Carolina’s own Nikki Haley was a hard “no” the minute she likewise dropped out of the Republican race.

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“A viable third party doesn’t exist in the United States for a very simple reason: there’s just no demand for one …”

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“What person with a promising future, Democrat or Republican, is going to risk pissing off their own party for a pie-in-the-sky passing fancy like No Labels?” the national strategist asked.

Then, there was the running mate problem with the fusion ticket theory.

“Would the Republican get the top spot, or would the Democrat?” a South Carolina political strategist told us. “Who in his right mind wants to be number two on a number three party’s ticket? Getting a good running mate is always challenging. Because once the initial excitement fades, it’s a thankless job. Just look how well it turned out for Mike Pence.”

An even bigger problem No Labels couldn’t overcome? The fact the United States is, at its core, a two-party nation.

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No Labels party leaders at a press conference.

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“People love telling pollsters every election year how they bemoan the lack of choice presented to them by the Democrats and the Republicans,” the national strategist said. “But that’s all they do. In reality, they actually embrace the two-party system. A viable third party doesn’t exist in the United States for a very simple reason: There’s just no demand for one.”

News that No Labels is folding its 2024 presidential tent likely set off huge celebrations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Conventional wisdom had said for months that a No Labels candidacy would likely take a bigger bite out of Biden’s base than Trump’s. Now, that potential threat is eliminated.

“Makes you wonder how heavily the White House has been working the phones, leaning on Democrats to keep No Labels at arm’s length,” our South Carolina strategist noted.

And so, the No Labels Party joins the America First Party, the Dixiecrats, the Know-Nothings, the Unconditional Union Party, and dozens more on the ash heap of U.S. political history. Well, with one distinct difference: Those other parties actually made it to the ballot.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Mark Powell (Provided)

J. Mark Powell is an award-winning former TV journalist, government communications veteran, and a political consultant. He is also an author and an avid Civil War enthusiast. Got a tip or a story idea for Mark? Email him at mark@fitsnews.com.

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1 comment

Joseph Jeter Top fan April 6, 2024 at 7:13 am

Until the media and the Uniparty duopoly stop actively shutting down any other party this will continue. It’s disgusting that we are usually forced to choose between a turd sandwich and a giant douche.

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